Weather Tested: The Best Sony Cameras to Use in the Rain or Snow

If you want to play around in the rain, snow and howling winds with dust flying everywhere, and you want to use Sony cameras, you need to see this roundup.

Weather sealed cameras give photographers so many advantages over cameras that aren’t sealed in any way. First of all, you can go and shoot in a myriad of conditions without having to worry about your gear (as long as you use weather sealed lenses too). This in itself means you will be able to get shots others with non-weather sealed cameras would miss. Secondly, weather sealed cameras have a much better build quality overall, which means your huge investment will last significantly longer than cameras that aren’t protected. Sony has been upping their weather sealing game of late, and there are now some Sony Cameras on the market that we wouldn’t hesitate to go and run into the rain with. After the break, we will take a quick look at Sony cameras that aren’t afraid to get a little wet.

While Sony cameras don’t have the very best weather sealing around, they do have enough for you to be able to get out into a decent rain or snowstorm without having to worry about your expensive electronics frying. If you want to be able to play outside when Mother Nature decides to throw a fit, and you insist you want to do it with a Mirrorless Sony camera, these are the models we recommend are worth a closer look. Remember, you will need to pair these cameras up with weather sealed lenses for them to be fully protected. Check out our picks for tough Sony cameras below.

Sony A9 II

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The insanely fast and accurate autofocus system
  • Seriously impressive battery life
  • The best Sony camera from an ergonomics standpoint to date
  • Silent shooting is truly silent
  • Great overall image quality
  • Blackout free shooting
  • Weather sealing
  • The EVF and LCD are both great
  • Effective 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • Eye AF is on a completely different level than the competition
  • It’s very well priced considering just how much tech you’re getting

Cons

  • Images at ISO 6400 are a little muddy and lose a little detail which is a problem for sports shooters who spend a lot of time in poorly lit venues
  • The menu system. Come on Sony, it’s time to rework it
  • The build quality, while good, it could be so much better

Buy now: $4,498

Sony a6600

hybrid shooters camera - Sony a6600

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Feels better than all other APS-C Sony cameras
  • It’s a mini a9
  • The bigger battery is a very welcome addition
  • Weather sealing is nice
  • Image stabilization
  • The combined weather sealing and bigger battery mean you can go all day on a single charge
  • Lightweight and small-sized camera
  • The quiet shutter in addition to the silent option
  • A lot of buttons that help you get around some of the issues
  • Fast-focusing even on the streets with continually changing light
  • There is almost no reason to take it off of wide tracking and continuous autofocus
  • Face detection for animals is very fun.
  • Low ISO detail retention in highlights and shadows is pretty good

Cons

  • No lock on the mode dial
  • Sony refuses to give us three direct control dials. Why?
  • Sony refuses to put a joystick on the back
  • No Dual Card Slots? Fujifilm has those
  • Face detection doesn’t seem as advanced as the a7 and a9 series
  • Sony still limits a photographer from having full use of the touchscreen in a way similar to Canon and Panasonic
  • The screen is sort of low resolution compared to the full-frame cameras
  • It needs a viewfinder that flips up
  • Focus peaking on the APS C bodies used to be amazing, and now it’s crap
  • Detail loss above ISO 3200
  • Why no USB C charging or port? Only Mini?

Buy now: $1,398

Sony a7 III

sony cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The best battery life of any Sony or mirrorless camera I’ve ever tested
  • A fair amount of resolution and versatility in the RAW files that can be realized with Capture One
  • Nice feel to it
  • Consistency with all the other cameras in terms of menu system
  • Autofocus can acquire a target in near darkness
  • Essentially feels like a scaled down Sony a9 and Sony a7r III.
  • Not a bad price point

Cons

  • Mount and certain lenses may allow for dust to get in onto the sensor

Buy now: $1,998

Captured with the Sony A6600

Pro Tip: Just remember that while these weather-sealed Sony cameras will be just fine while out in the elements, you need to make sure to pair them with weather-sealed lenses to be fully protected. Not sure which weather sealed lenses to buy? Take a look at this roundup, pick one (or a few) lenses up and then head out on out without a care in the world when it comes to the weather.

Sony a9

sony cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Fantastic build quality
  • Overall very good image quality
  • The best autofocus of any mirrorless camera out there
  • Dual card slots are nice
  • 20fps is pretty insane
  • Added dials and ergonomics controls are very welcome
  • Weather resistance
  • Significantly improved battery life
  • No blackout of the viewfinder is nice

Cons

  • Skin tones can come out sort of weird
  • Odd metering in relation to Sunny 16 rules
  • AF point being highlighted when moved around manually with the joystick would be very nice
  • Not sure how to use the Ethernet port
  • Touchscreen navigation of the menu would be great

Buy now: $3,498

Sony a6400

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • Excellent image quality
  • 11 FPS continuous shooting with AF & AE tracking (mechanical shutter only)
  • Improved Real-time Eye AF
  • Real-time Tracking
  • Real-time Animal Eye AF
  • Dust and water-resistant
  • 4K video recording without 30 minute limit
  • Competitively priced

Cons

  • Lacks in-body image stabilization
  • External battery charger not included
  • Single SD card slot with support for only up to UHS-I speed cards
  • The rear screen flips up into where the hot shoe is located and becomes essentially useless if you’ve got any attachments mounted onto the camera

Buy now: $898

Sony A7R IV

sony cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Improved ergonomics
  • Blazing fast autofocus
  • Excellent weather sealing
  • Anti-flicker shooting
  • Dual UHS-II SD card slots
  • More resolution than most photographers will need

Cons

  • Limited touchscreen functionality: You still can’t navigate the menus or interact with the display
  • Large file sizes (to be expected)

Buy now: $3,198

sony cameras

Pro Tip: While these Sony cameras are weather-sealed, your lenses might not be. If you find yourself with a weather-sealed camera and no lenses that like to play in the rain or snow, stick a couple of these camera and lens rain covers in your pockets so that you can add a layer of protection to your gear. They are cheap and they offer peace of mind.

Sony A7s Mk II

sony cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Incredibly film-like high ISO results once you kill all the unsightly noise; and they convert to black and white well.
  • Only missed the focusing twice during the review, and that was during surely impossible situations.
  • Below ISO 80,000, some of the best dynamic range anyone could ask for.
  • Incredible highlight detail retention
  • Overall excellent dynamic range that basically lets you screw up and fix it later; but up to a point as stated in an earlier bullet.
  • Uncompressed RAW photo option

Cons

  • Expensive
  • With the exception of dynamic range, not a major step forward in the technology as could have been possible

Buy now: $1,998

Sony a7r III

sony cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Lots of RAW file versatility
  • Sony a9’s autofocus
  • Nice ergonomics
  • New battery makes shooting with it for prolonged periods of time so much better
  • RAW files work fantastic with Capture One
  • Touch screen capabilities for shooting
  • Fast shooting capabilities
  • Silent shooting abilities

Cons

  • No one is going to actually use the Pixel Shift imaging mode because it’s so complicated to work with and few people want to use Sony’s own software
  • We’d love a top LCD screen
  • We’d love to navigate the menus with the Touchscreen capabilities
  • Sony got rid of the PlayMemories apps and therefore all abilities to do more with the cameras such as the touchless shutter.
  • Wireless flash capabilities need to be enabled via the menu in order to use them

Buy now: $2,498